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PROJECTS

MIGRATION REMITTANCES NEWSLETTER

The Remittances and Development Program co-edits the quarterly Migrant Remittances Newsletter. The purpose of the newsletter is to cover the policy issues that link remittances to development.  These policy issues lie at a point of intersection at which competition, financial intermediation, migrants’ broader economic activities (such as donations, investment and consumption of goods and services), and macro and microeconomic impacts transform or affect the economies of remittance sending and receiving countries. This project is funded by USAID and DFID.

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARRIBEAN REMITTANCE INDUSTRY SCORECARD

The scorecard is a quantitative framework used to rate more than 50 companies operating in fourteen countries in the region on a variety of criteria, focusing on remittance transfer service as well as country climates. Criteria include pricing, geographic coverage in the United States and Latin America, rural vs. urban coverage, financial services intermediation, customer satisfaction, and special product features. We are currently in the second phase of the scorecard data collection. This project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

HISPANIC MIGRANT SURVEY REPORT

The goals of this project are to determine the impact of the current economic crisis on remittances and on the contacts with the families and countries of Hispanic immigrants. The study will establish the pattern of use of financial services to cope with the crisis and describe the actual civic participation of the immigrants related to the crisis. This project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

FINANCIAL INCLUSION AND ACCESS TO FINANCIAL SERVICES FOR REMITTANCE RECIVERS

The project aims at increasing financial literacy and banking access among remittance recipients in Georgia and Azerbaijan. By partnering with banks in the South Caucasus the goal is to provide financial education to remittance recipients will increase financial access. The project includes identifying large remittance paying banks, training of bank greeters, providing financial education to remittance recipients, evaluating education, training bank staff on basic financial literacy, creating data gathering procedures, evaluate lessons learned, and elaborating and distributing a financial literacy toolkit to clients. This project is funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and implemented with support from the Microfinance Centre for Central & Eastern Europe and the New Independent States (MFC).

CONTRIBUTING TO THE FINANCIAL INCLUSION OF TRANSNATIONAL FAMILIES

The objective of this project is to provide financial and remittance literacy material to transnational families. This is achieved by utilizing a remittance literacy toolkit, abbreviated companion on financial literacy (geared toward organizations and financial institutions), and a booklet (geared toward migrants) that will be tested and disseminated across different organizations directly involved with migrant families, namely money transfer companies, non-banking financial institutions, banks, migrant advocacy groups and Latino grassroots organizations. This project is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

REMITTANCES AND FINANCIAL LITERACY IN GUATEMALA

The principal objective of this project is the use of financial education as a tool to enable financial access among remittance recipients in Guatemala. This is achieved by training financial educators at Banrural, the largest bank in Guatemala, to conduct financial education sessions using the Dialogue’s methodology and materials with 10,000 people in six months. The project includes identifying branches with the highest remittance content, evaluating the education, training bank staff in the links between remittances and finances, and analyzing the data produced throughout the project. An additional goal is to increase the balance of existing bank accounts.

REMITTANCES AND FINANCIAL LITERACY IN NICARAGUA

The principal objective of this project is the use of financial education as a tool to enable financial access among remittance recipients in Nicaragua. This is achieved by training financial educators at BanPro, a commercial bank located throughout Nicaragua to conduct financial education sessions using the Dialogue’s methodology and materials with 8,000 people in fivemonths. The project includes identifying branches with the highest remittance content, evaluating the education, training bank staff in the links between remittances and finances, and analyzing the data produced throughout the project.  It is supported by the International Organization on Migration in Nicaragua.

TRAINING SESSIONS ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT

The Remittances and Development Program designs and delivers a training program on migration and development for high-level government officials from the Middle East and North Africa. The training sessions aim to strengthen governments’ capacity to provide effective, targeted, and comprehensive solutions to various forms of migration, including supporting measures to promote the linkage between migration and development.  Each training session focuses on a different aspect of migration and development, including issues such as diasporas’ role in home-country development, remittances and financial asset building, regulatory affairs, and women and migration. The program, called “Euromed Migration II,” is funded by the European Commission and DG EuropeAid. 
www.euromed-migration.eu

PROGRAM FOR THE ECONOMIC INCLUSION OF PANAMA'S INFORMAL SECTOR

The Inter-American Dialogue coordinates a team of international and Panamanian experts who are developing a comprehensive strategy to transform Panama’s informal business sector into formal actors in the country’s economy. The project involves empirical and analytic diagnoses, proposals for legal and procedural reform, and practical instruments to promote informal businesses’ insertion into the formal business and financial system. Manuel Orozco, director of the Dialogue’s Remittances and Development Program, was contracted by Carana Corporation and WCC Consulting to coordinate the program for Panama’s National Competition Commission. The project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank.

REMITTANCSE AND TRANSACTION COSTS TO CENTRAL AMERICA

The Project aims to contribute to the efficiency, transparency and improvement of the market conditions of remittances in countries of Central America, through the production of a database with updated relevant information and comparable information on remittance services offered, their costs , fees, times and delivery networks, for 19 corridors between major cities in the U.S. and 6 countries in Central America. The project is done in collaboration with CEMLA and DMA.

REMITTANCES TASK FORCE

Two Task Force reports have been issued. View the most recent report.

COORDINATION OF THE MIGRATION DEVELOPMENT FUND SUPPORTING PROJECTS IN AFRICA

The Remittances and Development Program took a lead role this year in developing the Migration and Development Fund, which will finance projects related to remittances, financial access, and local development in migrant home countries in Africa. A Call for Proposals opened at the end of 2010, for which actors from various sectors submitted applications for projects in the following areas: expansion of the availability and quality of information in remittances, reforming regulatory frameworks, development of new financial products, promotion of productive investment, and promotion of local development. A complete project calendar and more information can be found at www.fundsforafrica.org.

IMPROVED TRANSPARENCY AND CONSUMER PROTECTION IN THE REMITTANE MARKET

The Remittances and Development Program Project took the coordination of this project and aims to contribute to the efficiency, transparency and improvement of the market conditions of remittances in countries of Central America and the Caribbean, through the production of a database with updated relevant information and comparable information on remittance services offered, their costs , fees, times and delivery networks, for major cities in the U.S. and countries in Central America and the Caribbean.

EDUCATION IN EL SALVADOR

The remittances and Development Program is producing a policy paper for the Pan American Development Fun on the topic of how national governments can more effectively engage Diaspora groups and the private sector in two key areas of development in Central America: 1) education and 2) workforce education.